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Old 02-10-2004, 07:21 AM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
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etiquette of politness/respect

~~My current dojo is quite different from my last, much smaller one. One thing I've really noticed is the lack of teaching newcomers proper etiquette in some areas. Yes, they get the basics of bowing in and learn a couple of Japanese polite phrases by example, but other forms seem to be missing and not directly addressed by the sempie. And many of them don't seem to get it from examples.
~~Being a large dojo we need to clean often, but many folks just come and go every class without lifting a finger; if I see my senior with a task I offer to finish it for them; others chat just off the mat during classes, etc. Perhaps the shortcoming is mine and these things shouldn't irk me, the world changes, but I see this lack of simple courtesy throughout much of society as a whole so I guess it only makes sense that it would find its way into the dojo. Too bad, I say...

~~Paula~~
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:06 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
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IMHO, rudeness and lack of particpation will certainly limit what one can to learn. I tend to invite everyone to join in and try to model the benefits of it. Some will get it and some will not.

Very selfishly, I tend to worry more about my own politeness and contributing particpation than if others chose to limit their own.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:45 AM   #3
DanielR
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Re: etiquette of politness/respect

Quote:
Paula Lydon wrote:
...we need to clean often, but many folks just come and go every class without lifting a finger; if I see my senior with a task I offer to finish it for them; others chat just off the mat during classes, etc.
Just wondering - how widespread is the custom of kohai offering to finish (rather than help) sempai's part of dojo chores (Paula, did I understand correctly?), especially in the western dojos? IMHO ignoring one's responsibilities in dojo maintenance is undoubtedly rude, but I can see how one would have a problem with finishing someone else's share because they hold a higher rank in Aikido.

Daniel
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Old 02-10-2004, 12:56 PM   #4
Ron Tisdale
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Quote:
IMHO ignoring one's responsibilities in dojo maintenance is undoubtedly rude, but I can see how one would have a problem with finishing someone else's share because they hold a higher rank in Aikido.
I don't know...saturday our 7th dan instructor was vacuming the floor at the edge of our raised mat space...you better believe I hustled my butt over there and offered to finish that, and the foyer too...

I'd have more of a problem with a jr. going to a sr. and suggesting that the sr. didn't do a good job, and instructing them how to do it. Seen that, and thought it was rude...maybe it was just the attitude I saw. If I don't like the way something is done, I'd rather just do it again myself.
Quote:
Very selfishly, I tend to worry more about my own politeness and contributing particpation than if others chose to limit their own.
Somehow Lynn, you don't strike me as the selfish type... I think the way you describe is the best. It certainly provides the best example. If others don't get it, oh well.

RT

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:03 PM   #5
DanielR
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Quote:
Ron wrote:
saturday our 7th dan instructor was vacuming the floor at the edge of our raised mat space...you better believe I hustled my butt over there and offered to finish that, and the foyer too...
Most certainly. I was asking about the kohai-sempai relationship rather than student-sensei. An example: a 5th kyu, who has just finished doing some dojo chore, sees another student, a shodan, vacuuming the mats with the only vacuum cleaner in the dojo. Would the 5th kyu be expected to offer taking over the vacuuming for his sempai?

Daniel
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Old 02-10-2004, 01:38 PM   #6
John Boswell
 
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One thing to consider is: How does the Sempai view the chores of the dojo?

I've read an article by Ikeda Sensei explaining how he and his wife go once a week and clean the classroom that their child studies in at school. He explained that it was the way he shows respect for the teacher of his child. Also, the cleaning is a form of misogi (sp?) and that everyone should take part in cleaning.

Now, should Ikeda's uchideshi come running every saturday afternoon to clean his childs school? Nope.

It's all a matter of perspective. Maybe the 7th dan in the example above takes some pleasure or pride in seeing the job done himself? I don't know.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 02-10-2004, 01:54 PM   #7
SmilingNage
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Besides the obvious reason to clean, I use the chore time to concentrate on what I am doing and let go of everything else. Focus in on the task at hand and finish it thru. Sort of a mental exercise if you will.

Just remember, its really your dojo. Nobody wants to practice in filth and or dust. All students should pitch in and do something reagrdless of how little it maybe. It is really embarrassing to me and most others to see our teacher(s) clean the dojo.

Many hands make for light work

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 02-10-2004, 02:19 PM   #8
Ron Tisdale
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Quote:
It is really embarrassing to me and most others to see our teacher(s) clean the dojo.

Many hands make for light work
What he said...

Quote:
Maybe the 7th dan in the example above takes some pleasure or pride in seeing the job done himself? I don't know.
Its just a guess, but I think it was just because at the end of classes on any given day, we all clean. There were very few students that particular class, no one had grabbed the vacuum yet, so he started doing it. I had finished helping mop the mats, so...

Quote:
Would the 5th kyu be expected to offer taking over the vacuuming for his sempai?
I don't know about expect...I wouldn't think so. But if I was that 5th kyu, I might take it as a good sign to polish the mirrors, or clean the bathroom, or find something that needed doing, and do it.

RT

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 02-10-2004 at 02:33 PM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-10-2004, 04:13 PM   #9
stuartjvnorton
 
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Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
One thing to consider is: How does the Sempai view the chores of the dojo?
Hopefully, senior & juniors should consider it the same: as a way to show their respect to the dojo and their sensei.

A senior is more "atuned" to the dojo than a junior, and will see something that needs to be done where the junior wouldn't.

So they do it.

If the junior sees them, I think they should make a genuine offer to do it for them, out of respect to them & the dojo.

Eventually they learn to see the need for themself & just do it, by which time the next junior should step in.

What I have a problem with (& I've seen it happen, unfortunately) is if a junior is about to leave the mat without sweeping, some senior will tell them to take a senior's broom. So now it becomes a chore, like Dad telling the kids to take out the garbage.

Mind you, this senior made no effort to even grab a broom in the first place. When did they get too important to respect their own dojo?

What a wonderful way to lead by example...
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:00 PM   #10
sanosuke
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my teacher said, "cleaning help us to become a more humble person", and that's including cleaning the dojo. besides, i already prove that cleaning the dojo before class is also a form of warming up. Mopping the mat in seiza can strengthen your hip and can help you train shikko as well. Sweeping the floor and cleaning the window also can warm up the arm muscles.
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Old 02-18-2004, 04:39 PM   #11
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
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I think one can get a little too worked up about courtesy, too, though. I know I do. For instance, when I do tea ceremony, I get so tensed up, trying to maintain concentration and an aura of formality that I end up with a sore back and funny noises come out of my throat at random times. I know that's really not what tea ceremony is all about--I should just be a good guest, drink my tea with sincerity of spirit, do my best to follow what I'm being taught. I know there's no way for me to know all the little intricacies of politeness, how long I'm supposed to look at my chawan after drinking thin tea, or which foot to step over which tatami with, but I get worked up anyway.

Outside of tea ceremony, I also usually worry about something I said, whether it was rude or not, not really knowing if I broke some social rule. And that extends to the dojo. Last year, one of my friends looked at me after Saturday weapons class and asked, "You're to shy to clean up, aren't you?" He was right at that time. Now I just clean the windows and dust because they seem to be the most inconspicuous things to do. That, and I think it's gross when I put my hand on a reiling and I get dust on my fingers. But you won't ever see me clean up the mats or dusting the shomen.

Last edited by Anders Bjonback : 02-18-2004 at 04:41 PM.

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Old 03-02-2004, 10:11 PM   #12
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
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Re: Re: etiquette of politness/respect

Quote:
Daniel Rozenbaum (DanielR) wrote:
Just wondering - how widespread is the custom of kohai offering to finish (rather than help) sempai's part of dojo chores (Paula, did I understand correctly?), especially in the western dojos? IMHO ignoring one's responsibilities in dojo maintenance is undoubtedly rude, but I can see how one would have a problem with finishing someone else's share because they hold a higher rank in Aikido.
I just came across this post. Funny...in my dojo, there is a Sensei who teaches excellent etiquette, mostly by example. He always pays me (and others) the deepest respect, whenever I train.

He is often very humble about chores, etc, and is often the first to jump in when a chore is needed. Most often, it's mopping mats. The past few times I've made a point of trying to trap him as he pushes the mop across the mat, attempting to grab the mophandle from him. When he sees me, he picks up the pace.

It's really funny when he does this: it reminds me of my Capoeira days, dancing and cornering in the roda.
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:39 PM   #13
ikkitosennomusha
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Paula,

It should be a community effort. Sempai should not bee too good to work and kohai shaould no be so lazy to let kohai do all of it.

You should be irked! If you find yourself doing it all instead of some others, the correct thing to do is adress sensei privately.

No matter how big or small the dojo, this is always a problem. There was one guy I remember that would float off in the dojo like he owned the place (white belt) and stand there while everyone else laid the mats down. I got on to him and reminded him of his duties. If he is too good to lay the mats then he is too good to train on them!

Brad Medling
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:40 PM   #14
ikkitosennomusha
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SOMEONE, please tell me what IMHO stands for? I see it alot in posts and quite frankly, never heard of it in the abbreviated form.

thanks.
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:44 PM   #15
giriasis
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IMHO = In My Humble Opinion

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:22 PM   #16
ikkitosennomusha
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Thanks Anne! Thank goodness, now I can understand when someone is being polite! hehe

Brad
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Old 03-16-2004, 03:29 AM   #17
JJF
 
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Brad: not being a native english speaking person myself I often come across expressions like ROFL or IMHO etc. A good way to get an explanation is to copy the text and 'google' it. (go to www.google.com - enter the text and push the button, in case someone new to the net is reading this). There should be a good chance that something relevant would pop up.

Back to topic: We all pitch in when something needs to be done around the dojo. Of course the longer one has practiced the better one understands the do's and dont's of aikido practice. There's also a 3 or 4 page article about dojo-kun available in our dojo, but I don't think anybody has read it for quite a while. Basically we do rather well with 'when in Rome...', and of course many a good teaching is transmitted during beer-waza...

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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